Film Schools and Intellectual Property Rights

There’s something on my mind that’s been bugging me for quite some time now.

It’s well known that as a condition of enrollment, many film schools require that all students surrender the intellectual property rights of all their submitted works to the school itself. My problem is that there doesn’t appear to be a list anywhere on-line that clearly indicates which schools have such a policy in place, and what is the extent of this policy.

It’s vitally important to take this into account whenever someone submits a project for broadcast consideration. If a student ever submits a project with the school’s copyright notice on it, then the channel will have no choice but to reject the submission sight unseen. Only the copyright owner or their legally chosen representative can submit a movie or television show to the channel for broadcast consideration. In the case of a student film branded with the school’s name on it, only the film school is allowed to submit the work for public broadcast.

So if you’re a student at one of Canada’s many film schools, what’s your school’s policy on intellectual property rights? Do you still own all the rights to your own works? Or have you handed them over to the film school when you signed up?

Please leave a comment with your answer.

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